Construction contracts, like other contracts, are meant to define the relationship between the parties to the contract. In that regard, the parties are generally free to negotiate the terms of that contract. It is only where the contractual language at issue is contrary to statute, against public policy, or is unreasonable, will a court decline to enforce the contract, as negotiated between the parties.
As if COVID-19 shutdowns and reopenings weren%u2019t enough to keep contractors up at night now, add riots, looting and vandalism to the list. You may be asking yourself who is responsible if a project or work site suffers damages from those causes and is it covered by insurance.
In previous columns, we have written about contracts where the parties have reduced the applicable statute of limitations from the generally applicable six years to as little as six months. The issue with such contracts is that they are often written so that the limitations period runs before the claim accrues%u2014which will result in a court invalidating the provision entirely. However, not every construction contract has such a provision.
As we prepare for a return to the workplace reducing health risk is of primary concern. One of the questions we've been receiving is can an employer test employees for COVID-19? Prior to the pandemic this was a much simpler question. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ('EEOC') provided some guidance in this area in light of the ongoing pandemic.